General Question

kullervo's avatar

What sort of punishment would be appropriate for spammers?

Asked by kullervo (785points) February 11th, 2009

If we were able to catch spammers who fill up our inboxes on a daily basis selling their viagra or other nonsense what sort of punishment do they deserve for the wasted internet bandwidth, hours of other people’s time and selling shoddy goods to the naive? Should we also punish the idiots/naive that keep these spammers in business by buying from them?

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26 Answers

cdwccrn's avatar

Solitary confinement with no electronics for one week for each spam sent out.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Put em’ over your knee and spank em’ hard with your computer keyboard.

Make sure not to leave any marks, though, because then you can deny everything that happened later on.

Aethelwine's avatar

You know those guys that ride around on their bikes with the white shirts and black pants, preaching their gospel from door to door? Have them knock on the spammer’s door all day.

kullervo's avatar

Public flogging and then take the money they made from scamming people to make something useful like free internet for the poor.

They should then be banned from using a computer for life.

Repeat offenders should just have their hands cut off.

Dog's avatar

Bury them up to their shoulders in sand next to an ant hole and cover them with honey.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Dog LOL…you must be in the south. Good idea.

@kullervo I also like your ideas. But a hefty fine should also be added.

archaeopteryx's avatar


I guess, the best place for solitary confinement is the Solitary T.V. Show. ;)

let Val teach them a lesson they won’t ever forget.. :)

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Drag them out into the street and shoot them in the head. Film it for YouTube.

archaeopteryx's avatar

And yeah, spammers do deserve the most pain full punishment on earth.. ><

Electrocution is great. Especially if you throw them into a pool of electrocuted water.
And of course, don’t forget to film it for Youtube too! ;-)

eponymoushipster's avatar

What if we just strip them naked and all laugh at them?!

tee hee, someone needs the male enhancement pill they spammed me about!” and point.

then shoot em in the head. (on YouTube)

<Rated PG-13 for intense action, sexual situations and drug references>

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@eponymoushipster That’d work for a man. What would you do about a woman spamming???

eponymoushipster's avatar

@jbfletcherfan same thing, except it would be for whatever pills they have for chest enlargement. i must increase my bust.

or we could just call her fat, and give her an eating disorder.
how many spammers are female anywho?

Darwin's avatar

Boil ‘em in oil, rack ‘em, and ‘ang ‘em by the neck ‘til their dead. I’m an old fashioned sort of girl.

Perchik's avatar

Or you could just ignore them.. Most “spammers” are just a computer program anyway, not one person sending out a ton of emails. It’s annoying, but so are commercials and ads. It’s just another way for companies to try to make money. If one person buys their product, then it’s probably paid off…

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@eponymoushipster Well, how do you KNOW that women aren’t spamming?

dynamicduo's avatar

Here’s the problem with your concept. Many spammers use a giant array of computers to do their spammings. Many of these are zombie computers, your or your mother’s computer, infected with a virus or trojan which lets the spammer take control and use your computer’s power in the background. And do you know one way how your mother gets this nasty thing installed? She downloads a free fish screen saver, or a fun free poker game, or a search bar for her browser, or a rotating wallpaper display, all of which come with tracking tools and avenues to let other suspicious programs in to your computer.

Many spammers only exist because they have a botnet of power to send their emails. If everyone who was in this botnet reformatted and kept their systems clean, spammers would have to resort to using their own resources to spam, and this is much more easily detected and dealt with by anti-spammers.

So by your logic, we should really be punishing the people who don’t know better than to not download a free program.

Or maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t bother punishing people (punishing people on the Internet is pretty hard, what with the whole “global laws don’t exist” thing), but focus our efforts on educating people on why they should not click on popups and install programs simply because they were “told to do so by the computer”. We can also educate people about how spam pharmacies are not monitored or enforced and thus you have no guarantee that the “medicine” you ordered is what you were shipped – some people have dissected pills bought from spam pharmacies and found them to be a mixture of crap ingredients. Or, and this is depressing to have to say, people need to be informed that there is NEVER a Samoan/Austrian/Whereverian Prince needing to smuggle out millions of dollars, but there IS a Nigerian/Whereverian scammer trying to trick you. Education, not punishment, is the key here.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@jbfletcherfan i don’t. but i assume. and that’s half the battle.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@eponymoushipster You know what they say about assuming things, don’t you?? ;-)

eponymoushipster's avatar

@jb yes, it makes you extra sexy.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@eponymoushipster LOLLLL….well, I’ve never heard of that explaination.

kullervo's avatar

@dynamicduo That’s why I said “If we were able to catch spammers” I know how the spammers use bots – infact a bot infected system has the same IP address as my T-mobile internet dongle connection so I can no longer send my via my laptop unless i get to a wi-fi/wired network as my mail server blocks the IP.

Maybe we should be punishing people that buy this crap from spammers. Perhaps send fake spam and then name and shame the idiots that buy the stuff.

Billboards with their name, photo and email address and details of what they bought.

“Mr Jones bought 2 bags of Viagra and Penis enlargment cream”

That will cut down on sales for the spammers!

dynamicduo's avatar

Why on Earth would you think that punishing people who do nothing illegal (hint, it’s not illegal to respond to spam sure the legality of certain spam operations are sketchy, but responding to spam in general is not illegal) would be of any benefit?

I don’t like your shame campaign. Know why? Cause it’s very easy to pick the next “justified target” for shaming. Maybe smokers need to be shamed, in your mind, to encourage them to stop smoking. Then maybe people who visit porn shops. Then fat people. Et cetera. I certainly would have some unkind words to say to anyone who attempts to intrude on my privacy and shame me for whatever reason they feel justified doing so. What I choose to do with my life is none of your concern or business knowing.

What about an activity that you enjoy doing, but everyone else thinks is immoral and agrees that you should be shamed into not doing the activity? How would this make you feel?

Humiliating people into submission is not the answer here.

kullervo's avatar

@dynamicduo – you do know that I am joking and this entire question was for laughs.

Maybe we should start another thread for legitimate ways of stopping spammers. Either way it might be easier to educate and discourage the buyers than to find and restrain the spam creators. If there is no money to be made no one will bother spamming.

dynamicduo's avatar

No, I had actually treated your question legitimately. No offense but I don’t have time to read through two screens of ping pong comments. Now that I know it was just a joke, I shall stop participating. No need to start a new thread, I’ve already expressed my opinion once, and anyone who wants to contribute legit solutions could post them here if they wanted to.

Maybe next time you make a joke question, you could make it very clear that it’s a joke question, instead of relying on one witty tag. I mean, it may seem obvious to you via the tone of your question, but I’ve seen a lot of stupid users asking stupid questions in all seriousness, and tone is very hard to convey via digital words. Just a suggestion.

steelmarket's avatar

Make them pick up trash beside the highways. While wearing purple jump suits. Once everyone learned that the spammers were the ones wearing the purple jumpers, nature would take its course.

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